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Imaging of charge trapping in distorted carbon nanotubes by x-ray excited scanning probe microscopy

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3 Author(s)
Ishii, Masashi ; National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1-2-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0047, Japan ; Hamilton, Bruce ; Poolton, Nigel

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We have observed the distribution of electron trapping centers on distorted carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by a unique x-ray analysis technique that has both elemental and spatial selectivities. This technique involves the use of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) under synchrotron radiation excitation of the inner shell of carbon. The probe detects the Coulomb force that results from the relaxation of an electron bound to a defect site into the core hole state created by x-ray photon absorption. This results in a change in charge state of the defect. At the spatial resolution provided by the SPM technique, we observed the electron trapping centers distributed on the compressed and torsionally distorted CNTs. This direct association of mechanical distortion with defect sites indicates a potential risk of deterioration of electric properties during the fabrication and processing of CNT networks.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:104 ,  Issue: 10 )